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Posts Tagged ‘Iditarod Race

The last great human wilderness action-adventure sport is on. Nay, it’s not just human, it’s human-animal interactive, dynamic competitive race against time.

The Iditarod Race is an amazing event. Hundreds of dogs, dozens of mushers, thousands of volunteers – and a thousand mile trail along Alaska’s wildest, coldest frontier landscape. The 2012 edition of the race is underway along the so-called Northern Trail.

This year’s roster of mushers features the charming sisters Berington. Listen to them here.

Godspeed, ladies!!

And speaking of ladies, let’s spend a moment about the other great lady of Alaska – Sarah Palin.

This blog wouldn’t have been drawn to this race if it weren’t for Sarah Palin. In fact, all things about Alaska are fascinating and beautiful only because of our love and esteem for Governor Sarah. The governor simply opened up a whole new world to millions around the globe. This blog finds it compelling to seek out and post amazing things about Alaska, about Alaskans and about Sarah.

Simply put, Governor Palin puts us in a state of adventure. For us Sarah Palin totally personifies Alaska. Her political philosophy is icing on this cake of discovery.

Interesting things about the race: just completing the race is a great honor, just as in a marathon race; finishing in the top half is a distinct achievement; repeat winning is an awesome result of dedication, discipline and luck. The race is a beloved tradition that seems to involve virtually every Alaskan. There is an excellent series about this race available for streaming on netflix/roku: The Toughest Race On Earth 2008.

May safety and good health accrue to all dogs, mushers, staff and volunteers involved. And may Sarah Palin prevail and grow in strength!

Alaska is a distant place, full of beauty, wilderness, awe and mystery.  The very name suggests a remote and forbidding land for many people. The vast bulk of humanity being somewhat more tropical, and only infrequently wintry at best, Sarah Palin’s home land is as far in clime from the rest of the world, as is her true character from the caricatures conjured up by the popular media.

Most Americans know little of Alaska, other than fishing, oil pipeline, frozen crab dinners and an occasional glimpse at a polar bear in a zoo – if they are fortunate enough to live in a large enough city.

The lure and allure of Alaska has generally been lost on Americans of modern times. As one of the youngest states in the union, she hasn’t had enough exposure in areas other than travel brochures.

Ask most Americans about Alaska. All you would have gotten until recently is mumbles about oil,  Eskimos and igloos. The tundra might have been on the far side of the moon, except when an oil tanker runs aground or a pipeline springs leak.

Sarah Palin changed all of that!

On one magnificent moment at Minneapolis, in 2008, with one eloquent speech Sarah Palin stunned the world, and America. And put Alaska on the map of our contemporary consciousness. After Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech, Alaska would never be the same for Americans!

Besides giving a whole new light to words like pit bull, lipstick, and hockey mom.

And, oh, don’t forget, she single handedly made ‘death panels’ as important a point of conversation as the word Nobama.

This blogger certainly owes Sarah Palin a debt of gratitude for the grace with which she continues to represent Alaska, and all things Alaska. She has been the source of inspiration for numerous celebratory posts at this blog about Alaska, the land and its physical beauty, human challenges, and spiritual power.

People of the world and of USA have a need to know more widely about both the Alaskan landscape and temperament, as well as Sarah’s true grit, than generally obtains in the US mass media, and the generally left leaning opinionators of the new media. This blogger wishes to miss no opportunity to explore this idea and expand on the mission to understand Sarah Palin, and present her to the world in true form.

How odd then that while the rest of the country is welcoming Spring, Alaskans just celebrated snow, sleet and cold.

How appropriate too, then that this post should celebrate at once, both Alaska and Sarah Palin.

Governor Palin, besides all the other reasons, we thank you just for being from Alaska. Without your commanding and charming existence, many of us would not have explored Alaska.

The Iditarod is an awesome event, over a thousand mile race that challenges man, material and beast over more than two weeks.

 

It’s offi­cially known as the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog ­Race, but it’s often referred to as the L­ast Great Race on Earth, or simply the Iditarod. It’s a competition that pits one dog driver, called a musher, and a team of dogs not only against other racers but against the (often cruel) forces of ­Mother Nature.

Named for a town in Alaska, the race ceremonially sets off from downtown Anchorage, Alaska, on the first Saturday in March. The next day, the official start of the race occurs farther north. Over the course of the next nine to 19 days, competitors cover roughly 1,131 miles (1,821 kilometers) in a race to reach the finish line in Nome, Alaska.

How the Iditarod Race Works, from How Stuff Works

{Lots of terrific,  informative posts at this site: How Sled Dogs Work; How Mushers Work,  Hazards of the Race, etc.}

 

 

Dogs of the Iditarod is great book with lots of photos of these superb canine companions and co-athletes, author Jeff Schultz.

 

Iditarod race

 

This year’s winner, Lance Mackey is a throat cancer survivor!

Also this year, a Jamaican by the name Newton Marshall, became the first black person to qualify as a musher. What a country, what a land!

 

DISCOVERY Channel TV video clips can be viewed here, dealing with the race, the life of dogs, trail conditions, mushers’ challenges etc. Great Site!

 

For more reasons to fall in love with the Alaska of Sarah Palin, check out these posts:

 

 Sarah Palin Crop Circle Image

Webcam of grizzlies at McNeil River waters.

Summer solstice in Sarah’s Alaska.

Favorite excerpts from Going Rogue.


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